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2017 iMac Pro: Grep (Search)

2017 iMac Pro

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This test uses grep at the command line in Terminal. Grep is single-threaded, using only one CPU core. Its performance is thus sensitive to how fast the CPU core is, provided that the SSD can read data fast enough and/or if the data is cached.

This test is a good proxy for any activity that has to scan large numbers of text files. In this case, there is a mix of small files (html) along with far more JPEG files of fairly large size.


alias grepTest='find . -name '\''*.html'\'' | xargs grep '
Uncached test: sudo purge; time grepTest hello123
Cached test: time grepTest hello123

Test was repeated several times to ensure consistency.Results below with macOS 10.13.3 including the Apple Supplementary Update. See the results from more systems with macOS 10.12.2 further below.

The 2TB SSD in the iMac Pro is not as fast for small reads as the 2017 iMac 5K SSD. But once cached, the iMac Pro pulls ahead (a surprise, but many repeated tests kept delivering this result).

2017 iMac Pro 18-core vs 2017 iMac 5K: grep

Below, the iMac Pro wins here, but why that should be is puzzling given the speed vs transfer size results. There may be other factors involved that are not evident.

The older Macs with their older and slower SSDs lag behind.

Speed of grep textual search
2017 iMac Pro
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